Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

Not many lives, but only one have we,

One, only one ;-
How sacred should that one life ever be-

That narrow span !
Day after day filled up with blessed toil,
Hour after hour still bringing in new spoil.

Our being is no shadow of thin air,

No vacant dream, No fable of the things that never were, . But only seem. 'Tis full of meaning as of mystery, Though strange and solemn may that meaning be.

Our sorrows are no phantom of the night,

No idle tale;
No cloud that floats along a sky of light,

On summer gale.
They are the true realities of earth,
Friends and companions even from our birth.

O life below- -how brief, and poor, and sad !

One heavy sigh.
O life above-how long, how fair, and glad, —

An endless joy.
Oh, to be done with daily dying here;
Oh, to begin the living in yon sphere !


U day of time, how dark! O sky and earth,

How dull your hue;
O day of Christ-how bright! O sky and earth,

Made fair and new!
Come, better Eden, with thy fresher green;
Come, brighter Salem, gladden all the scene!


NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE was born in Salem, Massachusetts, July 4th, 1804 After quitting college, in 1825, he resided many years in Salem : leading a life solitary and meditative, though diversified by the composition of occagional tales and sketches of a wild and romantic character. Some of these he published in newspapers and magazines; many he destroyed. In 1837 he published a number of his papers which had before appeared in an annual called “The Token," and which, for that reason, he called Twice-Told Tales." In 1843 he was married, and went to reside “in the old manse at Concord, which adjoins the battle-field of the Revolution, a parsonage which had never before been profaned by a lay occupant." This explains the title of his volume of tales and sketches which appeared, in 1846, under the name of Mosses from an Old Manse.” Mr. Hawthorne is, also, the author of several other works, and is conceded to be a writer of exquisite grace and finish; abounding in kindly humor and ever exercising the healthiest moral influence. The following extract is from the “ Twice-Told Tales.”



1. At this sultry noontide, I am cupbearer to the parched populace, for whose benefit an iron goblet is chained to my waist. Like a dram-seller on the mall, at muster day, I cry aloud to all and sundry, in my plainest accents, and at the very tiptop of my voice. Here it is, gentlemen! Here is the good liquor! Walk up, walk up, gentlemen, walk up, walk up ! Here is the superior stuff! Here is the unadulterated ale of father Adam-better than Cognac, Hollands, Jamaica, strong beer, or wine of any price; here it is by the hogshead or the single glass, and not a cent to pay! Walk up, gentlemen, walk up, and help yourselves! It were a pity, if all this outcry should draw no customers. Here they come. A hot day, gen tlemen! Quaff, and away again, so as to keep yourselves in a aice, cool sweat.

2. Welcome, most rubicund sir! You and I have been great strangers hitherto; nor, to confess the truth, will my nose be anxious for a closer intimacy, till th: fumes of your breath be a little less potent. Mercy on you, man! the water absolutely hisses down! Fill again, and tell me, on the word of an honest toper, did you ever, in cellar, tavern, or any kind of a dram-shop, spend the price of your children's food, for a swig half so delirious ? Now, for the first time these ten years, you know the flavor of cold water. Good-by; and, whenever you are thirsty, remember that I keep a constant supply, at the old stand.

3. Who next? Oh, my little friend, you are let loose from school, and come hither to scrub your blooming face, and drown the memory of certain taps of the ferule, and other schoolboy troubles, in a draught from the Town Pump. Take it, pure as the current of your young life. Take it, and may your heart and tongue never be scorched with a fiercer thirst than now . There, my dear child, put down the cup, and yield your place to this elderly gentleman, who treads so tenderly over the pavingstones, that I suspect he is afraid of breaking them.

4. What! he limps by, without so much as thanking me, as if my hospitable offers were meant only for people who have no wine cellars. Well, well, sir-no harm done, I hope! Go, draw the cork, tip the decanter; but, wher your great toe shall set you a-roaring, it will be no affair of mine. This thirsty dog, with his red tongue lolling out, does not scorn my hospitality, but stands on his hind legs, and laps eagerly out of the trough. See how lightly he capers away again! Jowler, did your worship ever have the gout? Are you all satisfied ? Then wipe your mouths, my good friends; and, while my spout has a moment's leisure, I will delight the town with a few historical reminiscences.

5. In far antiquity, beneath a darksome shadow of venerable boughs, a spring bubbled out of the leaf-strewn earth, in the very spot where you now behold me, on the sunry pavement. But, in the course of time, a Town Pump was sunk into the source of the ancient spring; and, when the first decayed, another took its place—and then another, and still another-till here stand I, gentlemen and ladies, to serve you with my iron goblet. Drink, and be refreshed! The water is fure and pold as that which slaked the thirst of the red sagamore, beneath the aged boughs, though now the gem of the wilderness is treasured under these hot stones, where no shadow falls, but from the brick buildings. And be it the moral of my story, that, as this wasted and long-lost fountain is now known and prized again, so shall the virtues of cold water, too little valued since your father's days, be recognized by all.

6. Your pardon, good people! I must interrupt my stream of eloquence, and spout forth a stream of water, ti replenish the trough for this teamster and his two yoke of oxen, who have come from Topsfield, or somewhere along that way. No part of my business is pleasanter than the watering of cattle. Look! how rapidly they lower the watermark on the sides of the trough, till their capacious stomachs are moistened with a gallon or two apiece, and they can afford time to breathe it in, with sighs of calm enjoyment. Now they roll their quiet eyes around the brim of their monstrous drinking vessel. An ox is your true toper.

7. But I perceive, my dear auditors, that you are impatient for the remainder of my discourse. Impute it, I beseech you, to no defect of modesty, if I insist a little longer on so fruitful a topic as my own multifarious merits. It is altogether for your good. The better you think of me, the better men and women will you find yourselves. I shall say nothing of my allimportant aid on washing days; though, on that account alone, I might call myself the household god of a hundred families. Far be it from me, also, to hint, my respectable friends, at the show of dirty faces, which you would present, without my pains to keep you clean.

8. Nor will I remind you how often, when the midnight bells make you tremble for your combustible town, you have fled to the Town Pump, and found me always at my post, firm, amid the confusion, and ready to drain my vital current in your behalf. Neither is it worth while to lay much stress on my claims to a medical diploma, as the physician, whose simple rule of practice is preferable to all the nauseous lore which has found men sick or left them so, since the days of Hippocrates.* Let us take a broader view of my beneficial influence on mankind.

9. No; these are trifles, compared with the merits which wiso men concede to me-if not in my single self, yet as the representative of a class of being the grand reformer of the age. From my spout, and such spouts as mine, must flow the stream,

* Hip poc rat es, a famous Grecian physician.

that shall cleanse our earth of the vast portion of its crime and anguish, which has gushed from the fiery fountains of the still. In this mighty enterprise, the cow shall be my great confederate. Milk and water! The Town PUMP and the Cow! Such is the glorious copartnership, that shall tear down the distilleries and brewhouses, uproot the vineyards, shatter the cider-presses, ruin the tea and coffee trade, and, finally, monopolize the whole business of quenching thirst. Blessed consummation !

10. Ahem! Dry work, this speechifying ; especially to an unpracticed orator. I never conceived, till now, what toil the temperance lecturers undergo for my sake. Hereafter, they shall have the business to themselves. Do, some kind Christian, pump a stroke or two, just to wet my whistle. Thank you, sir ! My dear hearers, when the world shall have been regenerated, by my instrumentality, you will collect your useless vats and liquor casks into one great pile, and make a bonfire, in honor of the Town Pump. And, when I shall have decayed, like my predecessors, then, if you revere my memory, let a marble foun. tain, richly sculptured, take my place upon the spot.


A SONNET, as a general rule, is a poem consisting of fourteen lines forming two stanzas of four lines each, followed by two more of three lines each. In the first two stanzas, called quatrains, the 1st and the 4th, the 5th and the 8th lines rhyme together; while in the last two, called tercets, the rhymes are made at the pleasure of the poet, but never in couplets. This is held to be the rule, though deviations from it are not wanting even among the best writers. We have, in English, many admirable sonnets, among which those of Milton and Wordsworth bold pre-eminent rank. Of the latter it has been well remarked that “ whether the prevailing emotion be patriotic enthusiasm, religious fervor, or the tenderer influences of beautiful scenery, historic spots af national interest, or the impressions of art, he never fails to give chat unity of feeling, that gradual swell of gentle harmony-rising, like & summer wave, till it softly breaks into melody in the last line-which is the peculiar charm and merit of this most difficult kind of compo sition'

« AnteriorContinuar »